Stovetop Mac-and-Cheese with Spinach

a bowl of vegan mac and cheese with extra cashew cheese on the side
Prep Time: 
40 minutes prep time, 2 hours soak time for nuts
Number of Servings: 
Serves 6 as a side


  • 12 cup raw cashews
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 12 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1 (12 oz) package elbow macaroni pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cups packed sliced baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place cashews in a medium bowl. Cover cashews completely with water and set aside to soak for 2 hours.
  2. Place squash in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid. Cook over medium-high heat until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Once cashews have soaked, drain and add them to a high-speed blender along with cooked squash, almond milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, dry mustard, paprika, and cornstarch. Blend until smooth.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Heat oil in a sauté pan set over medium heat. Add spinach and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer cashew and butternut squash mixture to pan with spinach. Stir until sauce is heated through and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Add pasta to sauce and stir to combine. Serve.


  • To make this dish gluten free, use gluten-free pasta.
Nutrition Info: 
338 Calories, 17 g Protein, 57 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 8 g Total fat (1 g sat), 249 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, B12, K, ★★★★ Magnesium, ★★★  Vitamin A, Phosphorus, Zinc, ★★ Vitamin C, E, Iron, Folate,  Calcium, Potassium


The Taste for Life Test Kitchen

The Taste for Life staffers have a wide variety of backgrounds and dietary needs. We're always experimenting in the kitchen, and love to share what we cook—and what we learn in the process.